The power of female business thinkers … 60 great strategy and leadership books written by women

July 11, 2018

Which business book is having most impact on companies right now? In my anecdotal experience it is Carol Dweck’s book Mindset about how to reframe your thinking towards a relentless pursuit of betterness.

Spending time with the Microsoft teams at their head offices in Redmond, USA, I am constantly amazed at how many technology people have been liberated by CEO Satya Nadella’s crusade to introduce a growth mindset, as Dweck coined it. Not to seek mere iteration and optimisation, but to explore and experiment, to constantly find new ways to grow your self and your business.

There are so many great female thinkers around – personally I’m inspired by the likes of Rachel Botsman on rediscovering trust, Nancy Duarte on the power of design, Whitney Johnson on reinventing yourself, Charlene Li on the power of communities, and Rita McGrath on innovative strategy.

When I look at the Thinkers50 ranking of the top business thinkers, women are sprinkled across the rankings, but still not significantly enough. As a second anecdotal experience, when I walk into organisations it does seem that women in leadership roles are much more open to new ideas, new ways of working, than men.

So here you are 60 books about strategy and leadership, written by women and listed in no particular order:

  1. Mindset, by Carol Dweck
  2. Blue Ocean Strategy, by Renée Mauborgne
  3. 101 Reasons to Get Out of Bed, by Natasha Milne
  4. In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules, by Stacy Perman
  5. Lean In and Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg
  6. The Change Masters and Confidence (and many others), by Rosabeth Moss Kanter
  7. Groundswell and Open Leadership, by Charlene Li
  8. Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, by Margaret Wheatley
  9. Rising Strong, by Brene Brown
  10. Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures That Win in the New Era and How to Create Them, by Sara Roberts
  11. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, Tom Parks
  12. Key to Yourself, by Dr. Venice Bloodworth
  13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
  14. Think Like a Leader, by Herminia Ibarra
  15. Slide-ology and Resonate, by Nancy Duarte
  16. Presence, by Amy Cuddy
  17. The Shift, Hot Spots, and The 100 Year Life, by Lynda Gratton
  18. The Signals are Talking, by Amy Webb
  19. Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil
  20. The Confidence Game, by Maria Konnikova
  21. The Moonshot Effect, by Kate Purmal and Lisa Goldman
  22. Branding Pays, by Karen Kang
  23. The End of Competitive Advantage, by Rita Gunther McGrath.
  24. Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!: Make Your Million-Dollar Idea into a Reality, by Lori Greiner
  25. Multipliers, by Liz Wiseman
  26. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Ducksworth
  27. Radical Candor, by Kim Scott
  28. I’d Rather Be In Charge, by Charlotte Beers
  29. Think Like A Negotiator, by Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
  30. ROAR: How to Build a Resilient Organization, by Sandy Asch
  31. Bridge Builders, by Maria Keckler
  32. #Values, by Dr. Betty Uribe
  33. Leading by My Ponytail, by Karen M. Walker and Julie Ducharme
  34. Purpose Driven Leadership: Building and Fostering Effective Teams, by Brigette Hyacinth
  35. Business as Unusual, by Anita Roddick
  36. Thanks for the Feedback, by Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone
  37. The New Social Learning, by Marcia Conner
  38. Show Your Work, by Jane Bozarth
  39. Darling, You Can’t Do Both, by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk
  40. How to Wow, by Francis Cole Jones
  41. All the Leader You Can Be, by Suzanne Bates
  42. Profit from the Positive, by Senia Maymin & Margaret H. Greenberg
  43. Awakening Compassion at Work, by Jane Dutton and Monica Worline
  44. Leading so People Will Follow, by Erika Andersen
  45. Winning Well, by Karin Hurt & David Dye
  46. It’s Not Rocket Science: 7 Game Changing Traits For Uncommon Success, by Mary Spio
  47. Unfinished Business, by Anne-Marie Slaughter
  48. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth
  49. The Transformational Consumer, by Tara-Nicholle Nelson
  50. Thick Face Black Heart, by Chin-Ning Chu
  51. A to Z: Your Navigator to Success, by Joanna Thompson
  52. Rising to the Challenge, My Leadership Journey by Carly Fiorina
  53. Shift Into Thrive, by Lynn Schmidt, PhD & Kevin Nourse, PhD
  54. Rookie Smarts, by Liz Wiseman
  55. The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs
  56. Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity, by Peggy Holman
  57. Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert’s Roadmap to Getting Out There, by Morra Aarons-Mele
  58. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
  59. The New IT: How Technology Leaders are Enabling Business Strategy in the Digital Age, by Jill Dyche
  60. Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World, by Jane McGonigal

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